Rotation is a hot topic with crew.
Majority of the senior are often given the golden ticket of rotation. Something many crew are working towards, that dream boat with a killer rotation package.
What we don’t often consider are the wives, girlfriends and partners of those crew members. For many of us stewardesses that have partners in the industry, it may be us at home with a husband on rotation one day. To be completely honest, I have a huge amount of respect and admiration for the partners that are at home. Many are raising children & ultimately have to become the sole parent for part of the year, while others are focusing on adjusting back to land life & making a name for themselves in a completely new industry.
Today I am chatting with my good friend Colleen, the incredible woman who told me all about yachting & persuaded me to join the industry! I owe a huge amount to her & continue to admire her as she navigates life outside of yachting with two gorgeous boys & a husband on a 7 week rotation.
Colleen has taken the time to answer the most asked questions from a recent rotation related Q&A on my Instagram feed.
Colls, When did you know you were ready to settle down?
I had been working on yachts, in villas and in chalets for about 9 years when I started to seriously think about leaving. I wasn’t feeling fulfilled any longer from the work I was doing. I was tired of missing my closest friends weddings, the births of their children, family times etc… I started to feel like I was on the outside of my old life looking in, if that makes any sense.
My time in the industry had brought me some of the most incredible times of my life, I had been to some amazing places, gotten to experience incredible opportunities, met my best friends and I really didn’t think my time on yachts could get any better than they already had been! So why not head out on a high note before I became a bitter old chief stew haha!! The clincher though was that my husband and I were ready to start trying for children.
I’ve been living back in Canada for the last 4 years now and love my new life that I’ve built here. We recently moved to Kelowna, BC and I enjoy everything about our new town. We are right by a beautiful lake, a world class ski resort, exceptional vineyards and the boys get to play outside everyday in our gorgeous surroundings! We’ve made wonderful new friends and I’m closer to my old friends and family which is perfect! My husband has a 7 week rotation and we’re lucky to go and visit him often when he’s away, as my job is super flexible and my boss always gives me the time off 😉 !!
All in all, life ashore is pretty sweet for this girl!!
When leaving the industry were you afraid of a lack of possible land based careers for stewardesses? Do you use any “stew” skills in your current position?
I wasn’t too worried about that, as I figured I would always go back to an event related job when I decided to actually leave the industry for good. I had taken some time off during my yachting and villa years to finish up my schooling so I did have something to go back to .
As for using “stew” skills, I believe the skills we learn as stewardesses are applicable to all aspects of life!
I mean seriously, who else do you know that can detail a bathroom with a cotton bud to make it sparkle, mix up a mean margarita or mojito from scratch, decant a 50 year old bottle of Bordeaux, drive a tender, fold a perfectly ironed fitted sheet and then to cap it all off, put together a last minute party on board for 50 guests AND do it all on minimal sleep!
How did you adjust to not working on yachts?
In the beginning it wasn’t that much of an adjustment for me, as the reason I left was to have a baby, so I was quite busy with our newborn. To be honest though, I would often pop back over to the boat to help train new staff or help with accounts (my husband and I were working on a smaller motor yacht at that time) so that made for a nice transition for me!
It wasn’t until we had moved back to Canada and my husband started his rotation, that I really had to adjust. It was hard for me as I really missed the European lifestyle that I had become accustomed. We were very lucky while living in France as we had a lovely apartment in Juan Les Pins a few blocks from the beach. I spent my “maternity leave” going to the markets daily, taking my son Cole to the beach with the new “yacht moms” I had met and I won’t ever forget about the lazy afternoons drinking gorgeous French rose while the little babies dozed in the strollers…it was perfect, until it wasn’t anymore…
It was challenging raising a baby so far away from my support network and I started to really miss the hustle and bustle of yacht life. It was strange for me as I knew it was no longer an option at that point I couldn’t really go back…so after a year, we decided it was time for a change and we chose to move back to Canada. I knew that would mean being away from my husband and solo parenting quite often, but I knew in my heart it was time…once I set my mind on building a life for us back in Canada, I got super excited about what laid ahead of us!
It wasn’t all sunshine and lollypops though! There were certainly times that I would think back and wonder what if I’d stayed… but I was where I wanted to be. I was LOVING all the perks of having my own home, a garden, furniture, freedom, my family etc…now it was just a matter of trying to figure out what next… I have a background in Event Management so I would do freelance event work from time to time but it was always challenging as the hours were long and I couldn’t always rely on my parents to watch Cole. Especially when Ben was away. It was when I was pregnant with our second son, that I decided to jump into the social marketing industry.
What is your current business?
When I decided to leave the industry, I knew I needed a type of job/career that I could do that would provide me with the flexibility to stay home with my boys, continue to travel, and earn an income. That’s not too much to ask right?
I had reconnected with an old colleague from when I worked in Sardinia, and she had also recently made a move back home (Australia). She had started her own on-line global health and wellness business sharing Arbonne nutrition, skincare and make up products. I was watching her travel and live life the way I like to, and she was working with people she loved being with. I asked her if I could do it too! It was as simple as that. I tried the Arbonne products and loved them! I had heard of the company but didn’t really know much about it. To be honest, I never saw myself joining a social marketing company, but sure enough life has a way of showing you just what you need, just when you need it the most and when I looked into the business model it made absolute sense. I jumped in with both feet and haven’t looked back! One thing that most countries have in common, is that everyone loves looking and feeling their best!I love that through Arbonne, I can do that. I can meet my goals and help others achieve theirs too through Pure, Safe and Beneficial products. The company encourages us all to Dream Big! How awesome is that! I won’t lie though, when I heard about the possibility of earning incentive trips, Tiffany jewelry and a Mercedes Benz cash bonus, alongside an uncapped income stream, that definitely sweetened the pot for me as well! Seeing so many women (and men) of all different ages, nationalities and experience already having achieved success. I figured there was nothing to lose, especially as I didn’t have to try to ‘fit in’ to a normal job after so many years of the joys of yachting and travelling and could be part of an awesome team who showed me every step of the way how to be successful.
On a side note, I think that yachting ‘spoils’ us. We get used to great money, incredible travel, awesome people, great food and spending other peoples money (haha) and we don’t think about the beyond yachting era. I didn’t think about the fact that when I stopped working life suddenly would get a whole lot more expensive. In hindsight I wish I had of started to build my global on line business BEFORE I left yachting so that when I decided to make the transition off yachts, I still had the freedom of choice as the money didn’t suddenly stop coming in. Better late than never though!!
As part of my month of giveaways, Colleen has put together a huge Detox & Wellness gift pack! Click HERE to head over the The Yacht Stew’s Instagram account to enter!
Where to follow Coleen:
Thank you Colleen for your honesty in your transition out of yachting!